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OLD FARTS: OLD MEN'S BIZNESS


(Do not take this for gospel, consult your doctor)

It is zoom time. Instead of the meeting at the club with the girls (mainly widows), thanks to the ravages of Covid-19 it has brought super computer Joe into his element. For a change, he has been a patient teacher as the old guys farted around getting to learn the system. Otherwise, it seems like a hundred voices screaming press this, press that, don’t touch that. You ijiyot! Ducor! And this and that. Another thing, there is no kitty anymore in which everyone contributed their share of the cost of the beers and the profits (remaining change) was held on for the annual bash to someplace with a decent club or hotel.

These days each one is dedicated to his choice of drink, whatever that is. One or two have raised their eyebrows watching or two others slurping on a Single Malt or two or even a cognac or two. However, this has not taken anything away from the business at hand.

Romeo, the rat, who hadn’t been around for a long time, was welcomed with generous “welcome backs”. Abel, the cat, (because of his light eyes, like Filo Mazor’s) was the first to pipe in: “So. Induur, what was wrong. We heard you were ill, but you would not speak to anyone. We sent some spies, but they came back empty-handed.”

The rat: “What to tell you guys… the medical centre doctors told me I was low on testosterone and I had to see the specialist who told me I had to get an ultrasound of my genitalia and a huge list of pathology tests including a 24-hour collection of urine. This was because there were other elements related to the testosterone that were also in short supply in my bloodstream.

“I was a little nervous about the senior citizen who was doing the ultra-sound on my semi-nude self but she was a professional and did not bat an eyelid or twinge at all.

“What was more daunting was the pathology test over two hours in around the genitalia.

“The result is that I will have to apply a special (expensive) ointment in the genitalia and a course of tablets.”

Dr Google piped in: Decreases in testosterone can lead to physical changes including the following: increased body fat. decreased strength/mass of muscles. fragile bones. Testosterone is a sex hormone often associated with males, though females have small amounts. If a male has a low level of testosterone, the symptoms can include erectile dysfunction, and reduced bone mass and sex drive.

What causes low testosterone?

·         Injury (trauma, interrupted blood supply to the testes) or infection of the testes (orchitis)

·         Chemotherapy for cancer.

·         Metabolic disorders such as hemochromatosis (too much iron in the body)

·         Dysfunction or tumors of the pituitary gland.

If left untreatedlow testosterone can contribute to low bone density or heart disease risk. But it doesn't have to — low testosterone is relatively easy to treat. The goal of your treatment plan will be to get your testosterone levels back into the normal range.

 

The rat suggested that in his case it was probably a case of infected testes. Why or how or what will remain a mystery.

 

Is he feeling any better? “I am a little reassured but it is too early to tell. I started the treatment last week.”

 

The Pied Piper rolled his eyes, shook his head, and asked: “So, how did you know there was something wrong? Did you stop having sex?”

 

“With whom should I have been having sex? I have not had any since El left us 17 years ago. Nothing comes up and, when it does in my sleep, nothing squirts out. Besides there has been considerable shrinkage, which I am told is normal for most Wazee.”

(It's normal to have a lower sex drive and fewer spontaneous erections as you age. But little or no libido can be a sign that you have low testosterone. Research suggests that almost 40% of men ages 45 and older seen in a doctor’s office may have low testosterone.

Because the symptoms of low testosterone can be vague and because men don't always mention their symptoms to their doctors, the actual number of men with low testosterone levels may be higher.)

 

The Tight-Fist who is blessed or cursed with a steel wrist was soon up and hopping about: “I am not going to allow any shrinkage. I such see qualitative medical advice next week.”

 

Well, there were not too many jokes that day. Everyone was thinking about their own personal issues … just for awhile and it was not long before the Golfer was up to his merry-tunes jokes.

 

A final line on the subject, the Rat explained: “Many years ago, I had made a beeline for Jasmine (everyone in the group knew Jas and in their bachelor days ogled her or even yearned for her but the Presley kid had sole occupancy of that heart) long after we both lost our partners. I did not understand at the time what she meant when she told me “I have nothing to give”. I understand now but would have understood better (maybe) if she had explained the symptom.”

 

Jimmy the crab, who is something of a considerate member of the group, is also something of an unintentional eves-dropper. He has the knack of being able to listen to two more conversations within earshot.  He explained: “ I was at the Medical Centre the other day and I met a lady who I see regularly at Church. She had three other friends and she introduced me to them. It was not long before we all found ourselves discussing our health problems. The common thread was: Degenerative discs in the neck, upper beck, lowe back; aches in the shoulders, elbows, into the hips and some parts of the lower legs. All were being propped up with weekly or fortnightly physio and heat treatments. The most painful times of the year were the winter months. “No use in complaining,” one of the ladies said, “We should get up and do our best.” For this group, at least, there are tough times ahead.

 

Dr Google: As you age, the ligaments and tendons that hold your joints together become “stiff and leathery,” says Siegrist. At the same time, osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage in a joint to wear away. Both processes can lead to aching, soreness, and pain. The best way to feel younger, she says, is to condition your body in ways so that if you need to run to catch a plane or shovel the snow in your driveway, your body “doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the challenge.”

Anyway, let’s change the subject and talking about cooking ….

Is Konkani relevant anymore?

THIS IS A VERY HOT EMOTIONAL TOPICE  FOR SOME:

 

Is Konkani relevant anymore?

 

My friend Mervyn stoked up the disappearing embers by writing this:

 

PROUD TO SPEAK MY MOTHER TONGUE

 

There was a time, especially during the colonial era in Goa

and other parts of India, when many of our Goans would not be

seen talking in their own mother tongue; not that these individuals

couldn't speak the language. For them,  speaking in a foreign

tongue gave them that air of superiority(at least so they thought!).

They felt important. Speaking in Konkani was considered below their

dignity.  SHAME ON THEM!

  As a lover of Konkani myself and all that our culture embodies,

I find it difficult to gauge the motives of these "foreign" Goans.

The following verses(sadly, the only ones I can remember) - from

a poem composed during my school days by that well-known

Jesuit historian, the late Fr. Claude Saldanha, S.J. - seem to sum up

everything. Referring to these self styled foreigners as kalafirngis-

Black Europeans), this, in 1940, is what he wrote:

 

   'They are shy to talk sweet Konkani

    Because they think it's low,

    They rattle off in company

    A foreign tongue for show.

       The men put on some pantaloons

        And think they look quite fine,

        They hardly know - the good buffoons

         That borrowed plumes don't shine!

Melodious mandos -swaying songs

With all their hearts they hate

Which cannot swing the girls around

With arms at any rate.

       And so, they say, 'the mando's dead'

       Not meant for cultured folk,

       But all their culture it is said

       Would not impress a bloke!

 

Konkani is such a sweet language, with greetings and

expressions not found in other foreign languages.

Take the daily salutation, for example:

   'Deo boro dis diun (May God give you a good day)

or 'Deo bori rath diun(May God give you a good night).

And what of that nightly blessing from our Elders?

 'Deo bori rath amcam somestam di Saiba etc (Lord,

give us a good night etc etc).

 

This last expression has certainly more meat  to it than the

plain 'Thank you'. Besides, all these also have one

thing in common - they embody Christian principles.

Far from being ashamed of our mother tongue, folk

songs and dances, let us make every effort to revive

and keep them going forever.

 

Future generations will thank us for this.

 

Mervyn Maciel

 

A friend answered back in the firmest and most sensible in the negative of the argument.

 

No many young people in Goa speak the mother tongue. They choose English because they all have dreams of leaving for England.

 

Even few new, second and third gens in the diaspora speak Konkani because in the great sphere of things it is quite irrelevant. No one else knows or speaks the language.

 

It natural for Goan migrants to assimilate in their new lands, especially in the language because without it one is complete marooned.

 

I don’t know of any young people in Australia who speak Konkani, certainly not the descendants of the East African migrants. My children don’t and don’t want to. There is a move in the GOA in Sydney where a small group has started Konkani classes.

 

In my mind, Konkani is useful to have if you visiting Goa.

 

 


Mervyn replies to his friend.

 

For your 'exhaustive' response to my article which in

no way was directed at those like yourself and others who were

brought up in an English-speaking environment. 

Like you, I too knew precious little Konkani since my parents

both conversed in English. It is only when we were on holiday

in Goa that I heard Konkani for the first time and picked up very

few words. Much later, when I was schooling in Goa and needed

to use Konkani both inside and outside the home, I took an

interest in the language since I also love our folk songs.

  I would never speak Konkani or Swahili for that matter were

I in the company of friends who only spoke English; but I 

have been embarrassed on occasions when some of my

Goan friends, conscious of the fact that we were among

English friends, still passed a few odd comments in Konkani!

   Yes, it is sad to see the erosion of our Mother tongue even in

Goa with the influx of Indians from other parts of India.

Sadly, we Goans are fast becoming a minority even in our own

country and before long I fear that the little bit of Goan-ness

that still exists in some quarters may soon be a thing of the

past.

   All the best, and as they'd say in Goa   VIVA!

 

 


Crescent Fernandes Photo gallery, Nairobi Goan history

Crescent Fernandes will live on in the hearts of his close and extended family and in the hearts of folks who knew him and in the heart of those who have come to know him after his passing. Comparatively few men or women are so blessed.


Cornelius Monteiro, P.C.Shah holding Gale, S.S.Dhodialle, Genny Da Costa mother, Ralph Colaco & Crescenti Fernandes. Loves Maura
































CRESCENT FERNANDES: perhaps the last of his kind, a Goan icon.



Crescent Fernandes will live on in the hearts of his close and extended family and in the hearts of folks who knew him and in the heart of those who have come to know him after his passing. Comparatively few men or women are so blessed.

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THESE ARE tough times for the Vanishing Tribe of East Africa (Goans, now in their 70s, 80s, and 90+). With the passing of each one us, the Grim Reaper appears to march ever closer. Nonetheless, we remain true to our faith and our trust in the Maker is renewed with each prayer. However, with the passing of the icons of the community, we feel the loss on any even greater personal basis. It is our loss as much as it is for the family and extended family.

The loss of Crescent Fernandes causes such grief and a sense of loss that is often reserved for the greatest amongst us, for royalty and greatest brains and achievers in the world. Crescent was no royalty, no earth-shattering achiever but he was nonetheless our own, personal hero. He was always larger than life (and I don’t mean his size). He was one of us, the one we most admired.

The phrase “the world is poorer for his passing” was never truer than with Crescent departure from this earth. He will always be remembered for the great work he did in supporting the community both in the UK and in Kenya.

He was always there when you needed help. This was especially of anyone in sports. He made sure they were never wanting.

He was perhaps one of the last few alive who went to the Catholic Parochial School in Nairobi. He never ever forgot it for a moment. He was a great supporter of St Teresa’s Eastleigh. He grew up with a large, wonderful family not too far away from the church and schools. His folks were amongst the earliest migrants to this quarter which grew into a Little Goa.

He was our hockey player. He was not an international but, in our eyes, he was even though he never played for Kenya. He was the organiser and brought players together (the Caltex team, for example). He was a dedicated club member both at the Nairobi Goan Institute and the Railway Goan Institute. He enjoyed a game of cards (when he was not playing sports).

He was an insurance agent and a financial adviser, and we were happy to put our faith in him and even happier to collect the money when the insurance or investment matured. I know of many, many people who remain indebted to Crescent for encouraging them to invest in an insurance policy which came in handy especially when migrating to the UK, US and Canada when forced to leave Kenya.

But perhaps more than anything else, he was blessed with a great memory and he was the unofficial keeper of much of the Goan history, especially Kenyan Goan history. Any time my memory made me struggle, I could always turn to Crescent especially on my Facebook page and while writing my various books. What I could not recall, names, places, events, Crescent would, as a matter of course.

We are all shattered, a little broken, somewhat wounded, even a little betrayed by the inevitable and as we apply the balm of prayer to soothe our aching hearts and our pained hearts, let us take comfort that he is in a better place. He booked that place the day he was born. A good man to the last and we shall all weep for him and missing more with every drop.

His departure leaves a huge gap in the memory of Kenya stakes. Now it is left to a few like Tony Reg D’Souza, Felix Nazareth, John Noronha, Oscar D’Souza, Braz Menezes, Mervyn Maciel, Amand Rodrigues and a few others who may have dropped off my brain’s memory card.

condolences to Thelma, the children, the extended family and all who mourn his passing.

Eunice O’Mahony:  was a class act, a wonderful listener, and the epitome of patience. He is going to leave a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to have him in their lives. I'm grief-stricken for Thelma and the kids.

 

Patrick Martins

Remembered most fondly ... most especially his love for Community.

Heartfelt condolences to All the family.

May his soul Rest In Peace.

 

Vincent Gunputrav

May his soul Rest In Peace.

Maureen Mbashu

May his soul rest in peace, Amen.

John Noronha

May his Soul Rest In Peace! A treasure trove of Goan history is lost

Tony Reg DSouza

A bright light in the Community has just been extinguished. Besides being a close mate worked with him on many committees where his dedication and love for Community were paramount. Condolences to Thelma and the whole family. God Bless.

Thelma D'Costa

 

Jerry Lobo

Our sincere condolences to the family. May he Rest In Peace

Sandra Antao

Our Very Sincere Sympathies to Thelma and all the family❣️🤗💐😢R.I.P. Dear Crescent🙏🏽Thinking of you all at this very sad time and sending our love. Sandy & Oscar Antao🙏🏽😍

 

Loy DeSouza

May his soul RIP

Belivia Da Costa Fernandes

Very sad news. He will be greatly missed. Our condolences to Thelma and family. May he Rest In Peace.

Greg Patricio

May He Rest In Eternal Peace. He was a Gentleman & A Scholar.../

Sara Ferrao

Sad news. Sincere condolences to Thelma and family. May his gentle soul rest in peace ðŸ™✝️🌹 Sara and Raymond

Maura Lobo

Our Very deepest sympathies to you Thelma, Carol, Douglas and Christopher & spouses. The sudden death of our beloved Crescent shocked us all. I for one could not believe the news as he sent me the most beautiful birthday message on my birthday on the 27th of July followed by two other FB messages and I thought I would reply today but he is no more like you would say Gone with the wind. You all are in our prayers. RIP dear Crescent. Johnny & Maura Lobo.

Sidney D'Costa

OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHIES THELMA AND FAMILLY. MAY CRESCENT'S SOUL REST IN PEACE.. I can still picture him when he visited us in Arusha on a flying visit to visit his cousin in law Dora.

RIP Crescent Sidney n Digna Australia.

Malachy De Souza

My heartfelt sympathies to Thelma and all the family & may Crescenti 's soul rest in eternal peace. He advised me about my finances when I was beginning my medical career. Malachy De Souza M.D.

 

Anthony Fernandes

I keep remembering the phrase, title: "The last of the Mohicans".... I did not know him but I'm sure my parents did. RIP.

Van Rosi

Our very sincere condolences to Thelma and family. May God keep his loving arms around all of you through this period of deep grief. May Crescent's beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.

Frankey Fernandes

May his soul rest in peace

Heather-Gail De Souza

RIP Crescent. My deepest condolences to Thelma and your family. I pray they find peace in this time of loss.

Braz Matatabooks

Deepest condolences To you Thelma and family. Crescent will be missed. RIP

Tyrone DSouza

I am terribly shocked and saddened to hear that Crescent is no more.

Crescent and I played hockey as well as soccer for Old Mutual. He was a good friend, never to be forgotten. My sincere condolences to Thelma and all the family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Condolences to Thelma and the family on the passing of Crescent. May his soul rest in peace.

 

Freda D'Souza

Thoughts and Prayers go out to dear Crescent. May his soul RIP. Deepest condolences to Thelma and the family.

 

Melba Monteiro

Deeply sorry to learn of Crescent’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Thelma and the family. May he rest in eternal peace.

 

Gale D'Costa

I remember him fondly... a good friend of my dad... at the Goan Institute when we were just kids... An icon for our club.. a gentle giant...may he rest in eternal peace and let the perpetual light shine upon him.

Anne Coutinho

Sincere condolences to Crescent Fernandes' family. May his soul rest in peace. I don't think I ever met him but his brother Thomas was a very dear friend but we have lost touch over the years. Our prayers are with you all.

Melvin D'lima

R.I.P Crescent

Mena DCruz

You couldn’t have put it better! Indeed ‘ the world is a poorer place for his passing ‘ - lived by all who knew him! R. I.P. ðŸ™ðŸ¾

 

Victor Desouza

RIP Crescent

 

Hazel Mendonca

Sincere condolences to Thelma & family, many happy memories of Kenya days, Rest In Peace dear friend ðŸ™

 

Kenneth George

Our deepest condolences to Thelma and family. Rest in peace crescent.

Stan de Souza

May his soul rip and eternal light shine upon him

Our heartfelt condolences to Telma and the rest of the family

 

Clarence Abranches

Our heartfelt sympathies to Thelma and the family on the passing of Crescent. May his soul rest in peace.

 

 

Tony D'costa

Our heartfelt sympathy on the sad loss of a man who dedicated so much, for the love of our Goan community in Kenya

He always had a kind word & encouraged me when I played hockey for the GI in the 70s

He will be remembered & missed by all who knew and loved him R.I.P.

Heartfelt Sympathy to Thelma and all the family

Rosa Maria Desouza

Sincere condolences to the entire family may his soul rest in eternal peace ðŸ™ðŸ™

 

Jenipet Fernandes Azavedo

Yes so shocked Uncle Crescent is never forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers to Aunty Thelma and the whole family may his soul rest eternal peace till we meet again Amen

 

Ivy Monteiro

This is certainly a great loss. He will always be remembered.

 

Eunice O'Mahony

Crescent was a class act, a wonderful listener, and the epitome of patience. He is going to leave a gaping hole in the lives of everyone who had the good fortune to have him in their lives. I'm grief-struck for Thelma and the kids.



Norman and Delfne Da Costa: SKIP: You've done an excellent obituary on a giant of a man in Kenya from his sporting ties at the administration level and on the field. There was Crescent selling us his insurance policies when we were still in our teens and it eventually paid off when we were leaving Kenya. Had close ties with him on the field when we represented Caltex, a team that was assembled by the late David Carrasco, without a doubt the best administrator in Kenya. Crescent ran a close second to David and I should know as we worked together for the Kenya Goan Sports Association in organizing field hockey's Gold Cup and Allsopp's Cup. The Allsops Cup was the equivalent of the Gold Cup that pitted the best soccer clubs in East Africa. Crescent was part of a dedicated group that included Tom Fernandes and the late John D'Souza. Crescent also played an active role at the Railway Goan Institute in different capacities. We will miss a thorough gentleman. Our condolences go out to Thelma and the family. Norman and Delphine

Crescent was a treasure trove of memories and always made a contribution to the hundreds of posts on my Facebook page. Here is the last one, just a few days ago:  

Cresenti Fernandes

I knew Blaise very well in Nairobi, he  played Cricket for East Africa against Pakistan as a good goodly bowler Table Tennis for Kenya and RGI In Athletics the High Jump at the GI & RGI annual Sports worked for National and Grindleys Bank in Nairobi. Now lives in Norbury London.